Basics to Entering a Writing Contest

Basics to Entering a Writing Contest

 Writing contests can offer great benefits to a writer, however they can also be intimidating. To help you wade through the process, let’s look at some of the basics of entering a Writing Contest.

1. Choose the right contest – Do the research to find the best contest for your writing. Contest entry fees can vary greatly from free to extremely high. The rewards can be just as varied from a simple recognition and critique of your writing, to rewards of money prizes and publication. Beware of contests that require you to purchase the published work of your “Winning” writing. More information can be found in my article Writing Contest Benefits.

2. Choose the correct Genre – To avoid poor critiques or placement, choose the correct genre for your work. While some pieces may cross over into another classification, you will have better results if you focus your writing to one specific genre.

3. Follow Submission Guidelines – When entering a contest pay close attention to the submission guidelines. These rules may vary greatly with different organizations and contests. Be diligent to have the correct word count while using the proper page format, font, and cover page identification requirements. Don’t expect contest officials to overlook the rules just for you, it’s their contest and it’s their rules.

4. Pay attention to Postage – If you are sending an entry by mail it will require the correct postage, so does the return of your entry. Read carefully any instructions regarding postage and the return mailing requirements of your entry or prizes. If you are using metered mail, postage from a meter or computer, understand that it expires on the date stamped. If you stamp the return envelope with the current date, and the contest results are not given for several months, postage may be expired and could result in your entry not being returned.

By following these few steps, entering a writing contest can be fun and successful!

Rory C. Keel



By Rory C. Keel

“Okay, somebody write a quick blog on trying to find a name for your blog!”

                                                                                             –Natalie Bright

Choosing the one specific term that describes six different writers with very different styles and genres, can be a daunting task. One would think that such an imaginative group could quickly produce a name so extraordinary, so remarkable that the mere mention of it would describe each individual and their genres perfectly. We settled on something a little less complicated.

What about Tuesday?

Welcome to our blog. My name is Rory and every Tuesday I will be sharing with you some of the ideas and lessons that I’ve learned, and will learn along the way to publication. I’m excited to be a part of a group of writers ranging from beginners to the experienced, from the unpublished to multiple publications, and that has the motivation to move forward in their writing. I write Christian fiction and non-fiction, Historical western, short stories, and creative nonfiction. I have published several Christian devotionals, and I have song lyrics published on a CD, “Alabaster Box.”

Choosing the Name

So, how did we choose the name? We tossed words onto a dry erase board, and then the six of us wrestled them around until one stood up and screamed, “Pick Me!” And what is the name that captures the essence of our critique group?

Wordsmith Six

Wordsmith Six consists of six writers who cover the spectrum in genres—a group of a half-dozen close friends who love words, whether we’re reading, writing or researching them. We have individuals who write Women’s Fiction, Historical, Inspirational and Screenplay. Others love Romance, Western, Christian fiction and Middle grade children’s books. Included are authors with published Fiction and Nonfiction books, TV Documentaries, Song Lyrics, Humor and yes, even HORROR.

We have lots of stories to tell and you’re invited to follow along.

Click on the author page above to connect with Rory.

Rory C. Keel